Image by: Levitt Bernstein Architects
Over the past two years Dublin City Council’s Rapid Build Programme has successfully utilised off site manufacturing and system-build construction to deliver 150 two-storey homes across the city.
Following a study commissioned in 2017 Dublin City Council is now proposing the use of off-site systems to construct multi-storey apartment units – a form of construction called ‘volumetric system-build construction’. This form of construction is potentially not only a viable option to deliver apartment developments in Dublin, but the approach is widely believed to be faster, safer, and to provide a more predictable quality of finish.
Volumetric system-build construction utilises factory-manufactured building elements (pods) that are stacked together on site to form a building. The internal fit-out, finishes and building services within the pods can be completed in the factory where quality control is closely monitored. The external façade and roof treatments are usually installed on-site. The result is a high quality development that is indistinguishable from a traditional build.
Volumetric system-build technology has been utilised extensively in the UK, Europe, Asia and the United States, with developments in excess of 25-storeys currently being delivered in London.
Dublin City Council has engaged consultant design teams experienced in the use of volumetric system-build construction to design two apartment developments, one in the city centre and one in the north city suburbs. The intention is to seek ‘Part 8’ planning approval in the coming months for these projects. The schemes will provide high quality homes fully compliant with the Building Regulations, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s “Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments, and the Dublin City Council Development Plan 2016-2022. Feasibility studies are also underway into the use of volumetric system-build construction on a number of other Council owned sites.